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Courtney's Parents Speak:

When we first heard Courtney had Cerebral Palsy, she was 11 months old; we didn't have a clue that there was anything wrong with her. Our doctor told us she was just a little slow and that she would come around. She was our first child. We didn't know any better.

It took some very tough love from her grandmother to tell us that there was something wrong and we needed to get some help. We did, and there is where the long and tough road started for Courtney and us.

She has been through many surgeries, hospital stays, procedures, appointments, full body casts, implants, frustrations, and pain. But she always ends up with a smile on her face that melts your heart. How does she do it? If we could only go through all of this for her....

Our other two children have had the opportunity to live with a sibling with special needs and have become a great friend, advocate, and caregiver for her. They now have that special awareness for other people with disabilities and are always willing to help others. We also take the time to show them what a "normal" family can and are able to do without the challenges of special needs out in the community.

Courtney has been mainstreamed in a good school program in our town. A lot of adults and classmates have taken her under their wing and made sure she is cared for and treated right. There have always been a few that will go above and beyond the call of duty for her, and we can't thank them enough for that. Our hope is that it will continue through her junior and senior years.

One of our greatest joys was when Courtney was able to go four-wheeling with us for two days; we never thought this could happen. But because we have this great group of friends that have adopted her as one of their own, they made this happen for her and the fun she had those two days was indescribable. The events like this and the support we do receive from others makes our life a little easier and helps us get through the rougher times.

Courtney will never be without a wheelchair, day-to-day challenges, frustrations, doctor appointments, or not knowing what the future will hold. But she will also always have those special friends to love her, help her, and give her and us the support we need. We could never do it alone.

The challenges and obstacles we face on a daily basis are so unfair. Why are people so naive? Why should Courtney and us have to struggle for the littlest things? We will never understand any of this. But the biggest question of all is, why was she chosen to be born with special needs and not have an easy life?

The biggest reward we feel every day is that Courtney is as healthy as she is, and that we have a great staff of help for her in order to keep her in our home with us while being able to give our other kids the time and attention that they need.

Our goal for Courtney is that she lives as happy and fulfilling life as possible, that she continues to work hard, reach for her goals, have many friends and support, and never be forgotten.